Short Courses Open Doors for Milstein Students

Each semester, the Milstein Program offers a new series of short courses to its student cohort.  These optional mini-workshops offer Milstein students a way to learn the technical skills they crave and create opportunities to socialize across different majors and years.  

Students themselves decide which courses are offered via regular feedback.  

When students expressed interest in producing better photography, the Milstein Program reached out to local photographer and frequent collaborator Simon Wheeler, who taught a Photoshop Editing short course.  

Since the Junior Project work on the Voices of the Underground Railroad website required audio engineering, the program spoke to Bert Odom-Reed, Cornell’s Media Relations Broadcast Studio Director.  Odom-Reed designed a custom Audio Editing short course to share his technical expertise with interested Milstein students.  

Obioha Chijoke ’24 signed up for the audio editing workshop to enhance his contributions on the Voices of the Underground Railroad website.  “We’re going to learn what goes into recording audio, how you get good audio clips, and then how to edit them for maximum impact,” he said.  “I’m definitely trying to improve my skills.”  

Milstein student James Koga ’25 looks to incorporate skills from the short course into his personal projects.  

“I like to produce music and so I want to improve my audio recording, especially when it comes to recording different types of vocal registers,” Koga said. “I’m really excited to see how Odom-Reed explains it.”

Other skills-based short courses this fall included short-form videos for social media, design thinking, cartoon character design, and poetry.  Social short courses included smoothie and a movie night, the Johnson Museum tour, and bowling at Helen Newman Hall.  

Milstein student Camila Orr ’24, who organized all three social short courses, sees them as an opportunity to encourage friendship and collaboration.

Orr believes many students prefer to socialize outside of the classroom.  “I just hope the social short courses foster more cross-cohort connection between students in the Milstein Program,” she said.  

Koga felt the short courses accomplished this.  He was impressed when Milstein students from all four academic years arrived to bowl with the group.  “It was just cool to see,” he said.  “Grade or year isn’t a barrier in the Milstein Program.”  


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Milstein students work on their laptops during a photo editing short course with Simon Wheeler.
Milstein students attend a photo editing short course with Simon Wheeler.